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  1. 23 Feb '10 16:46
    Hello Forum,

    I have been playing on this site, on and off enthusiasm-wise, for around 3 years.
    I started with very little experience, played with dad growing up when the power went out.
    Now, after hundreds of rated games and blitz, I feel much more confident in my moves and decision making.
    This is mostly due to the advice I've received on these forums, namely

    a) develop pieces early, take your time, check threats (especially check check threats!!!)
    b) study lots and lots of tactical problems

    It's largely due to these reasons, plus experience, I'm nearing my ratings goal of 1600.
    I used to see tactics problems and say "cool, but my pieces are never aligned to implement that."
    Now I can not only recognize opportunities, but can also interject when my opponent is maneuvering for checks or material gain.

    Sure, I still make brutal game-losing blunders, completely ignoring the "check checks" rule before hitting submit.
    Some recent examples of this: Game 7146215 Game 6989828.

    However, I also found I have been drawing more as well. Against like-ranked opponents,
    when no pieces are horribly blundered, I am finding it difficult to work a win out of an end-game where I'm up a pawn
    or seem to be in good position to promote pawns. A few examples of this to take a look at: Game 7180500 Game 7179781.

    (I should also mention that I was also able to work a very satisfying win recently too, Game 7176363
    so I'm not completely incompetent.)

    So,now, finally, my question to the forum: how do I turn these draw games into wins?
    I have put them on winboard and jammed a "computer vs. computer" analysis on them, and it seems ambiguous at best.
    What is the best strategy for dealing with these positions? If the game is starting to look like a pawn-up endgame,
    what should I be doing to prepare for it? Any feedback would be highly appreciated.
    I am already thankful for all the passive advice I've received reading these forums and talking to opponents so thanks,

    Allostery
  2. 23 Feb '10 17:33
    In game 7179781 you should not have accepted/offered yet.After your 42.c4 he may play 42...a6 and then 43.a4



    when he has to respond either 43...Kd6 or 43....c5 anything else loses(I think)
    If he finds those moves then you can offer a draw but you must make him prove it.

    game 7180500 is a rook ending.There's a saying 'all rook endings are drawn'.
    Of course this is not true but in these endings an extra pawn is usually not enough to win.
    Can't help you with the technique,struggle with it myself.
  3. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    23 Feb '10 18:37 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by allostery
    Against like-ranked opponents,
    when no pieces are horribly blundered, I am finding it difficult to work a win out of an end-game where I'm up a pawn
    or seem to be in good position to promote pawns. A few examples of this to take a look at: Game 7180500 Game 7179781.
    The King and pawn ending looks drawn to me. Black's King is 'further forward' than yours, which seems to nullify your passed pawn. Once black plays ...c5, the draw seems obvious.

    Let's look at the Rook endgame in more detail.


    Frustrated no doubt by the threat of ...Rh3+, you played RxB+, giving away your main advantage, the edge in material. So, it's worth asking - how did it come to this?

    Let's back up a few moves:

    White played h4 here - and I think this is the start of the trouble. Why the hurry to push this pawn? White isn't ready to support it. Further, Black's rook really needs to be challenged - he should not be left to enjoy a dominant position on the 2nd rank. 39.R7g2 puts the question to him. If black trades, that just helps you, since you're the side up in material. If the rook retreats, white proceeds with centralizing the King, and getting his Rooks ready to support the h-pawn's advance.

    Patience is the key. White's h-pawn and material advantage are not going away. Take care of Black's counterplay first, then get your pieces to good squares, then proceed with exploiting your advantages.
  4. 23 Feb '10 19:15
    Originally posted by Ajuin
    In game 7179781 you should not have accepted/offered yet.After your 42.c4 he may play 42...a6 and then 43.a4

    when he has to respond either 43...Kd6 or 43....c5 anything else loses(I think)
    If he finds those moves then you can offer a draw but you must make him prove it.
    .
    Yeah this was my offer that he accepted.

    I thought there may be a way to get a pawn past on the a- or b-file, and perhaps waiting for a Black King move so I could force the e-pawn in there, but could not find a way around. You're right though, there were plenty of opportunities for black to make a mistake, and I probably should have played it out a few more moves. I was a little nervous about where I was on the board though. Thanks for the input.
  5. 23 Feb '10 19:38
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    Why the hurry to push this pawn? White isn't ready to support it. Further, Black's rook really needs to be challenged - he should not be left to enjoy a dominant position on the 2nd rank. [b]39.R7g2 puts the question to him. If black trades, that just helps you, since you're the side up in material. If the rook retreats, white proceeds with centrali ...[text shortened]... first, then get your pieces to good squares, then proceed with exploiting your advantages.[/b]
    Very good advice, and you're absolutely right. That h-pawn was the bane of my existence for a good portion of the game, while my King was boxed in the corner. It was killing me with all that open space to roam, to keep the poor guy huddled in the corner. Once it was freed I just couldn't help myself. I tried challenging the rook later with 42. Rg2, but it was declined. At that point though, it was too late, as the pawn had already uncovered that mating square on h3. Looking back on it now, it would sort of be like sending the security guard out on a beer run.

    Thanks for pointing that out.
  6. 24 Feb '10 12:47 / 1 edit
    I don`t think you have drawalitus since less than 10% of your games are drawn.
    I suspect that your thinking may be similar to a poker player saying oh I`m always unlucky.
    Well I was unlucky since my aces lost to his jacks is true.
    Always seems like a word Spock would not consider logical here maybe.
  7. 24 Feb '10 15:17 / 2 edits
    True, I haven't drawn a lot of games in total, but I have drawn 5 of the last 15. For the most part, I guess the result of limiting my mistakes to a few late-night blunders, I need to get used to playing some longer games.

    EDIT: I like that term "drawalitis". Are there other players here who have a more serious case of the condition?
  8. 24 Feb '10 20:50
    I think one treatment option for drawalitus of the liver is simply playing on.
    Not a guaranteed cure but probably helpful.